Whoosh! Issue 29 - February 1999

IAXS project #321
By Jules Warrick
Content copyright © 1999 held by author
This edition copyright © 1999 held by Whoosh!

1388 words

Author's Note: I would like to thank Steven Sears and the creators of Xena: Warrior Princess for depicting the Amazons in a positive light. This has rarely been seen in mainstream popular culture and it is greatly appreciated! Thank the gods that XWP is not typical!

Terreis (02-04)
Ephiny (05-08)
Eponin (09-10)
Magdelus (11)
Melosa (12-15)
Amazons (16)


[01] HOOVES AND HARLOTS (10/110) presented the first depiction of the Amazons, a nation of women warriors, on Xena: Warrior Princess. This episode introduced a number of characters which became popular among fans and consequently in fan fiction.


Red hair, red shirt, what's the diff?

Terreis passes on blessings and burdens to Gabrielle.

[02] In the teaser of HOOVES AND HARLOTS (10/110), a group of well-armed and masked Amazons confronted Xena and Gabrielle. Xena knew what to do and offered the Amazon sign of peace, instructing Gabrielle to follow her lead. The first woman to unmask herself was Terreis, a striking red-haired woman. She had gentleness about her, but was obviously in charge. She invited the women back to her village. She talked with Gabrielle on the way to the Amazon village about what Amazons taught their children, her thoughts on men, and the way the world worked. "It's a man's world, Gabrielle. Not because it should be, but because we let them have it." Terreis seemed to have had a fondness for the young Gabrielle in their all too brief meeting, as her final act proved.

[03] Terries died a quick, but probably painful death, shot by an arrow while hiding in the tree-tops. Falling from the tree and landing flat on her back, she was unable to move away from the shower of arrows that fell around her. Terreis was aware enough to realize that Gabrielle tried to protect her by covering her body with Gabrielle's own. For that unselfish act she passed on the Amazon Right of Cast [In the original script by Steven L. Sears, the word "cast" was spelled all in the lower case]. The bard accepted it, not fully understanding the responsibilities of that commitment.

[04] Gabrielle later learned that the acceptance of the Right of Cast included belongings as well as position. Not only would she be an Amazon. Queen Melosa informed her, "Terreis was my true sister, the next in the royal line. You're an Amazon Princess." Later, Gabrielle when she was being dressed, two other Amazons told her about Terreis and what she believed. Terreis felt her nation should work towards peace with men and Centaurs, rather than war.


Her hair becomes longer and less frizzy as the seasons wear on

Nasty at first, Ephiny later becomes beloved by fans.

[05] The next named Amazon in the episode became one of the most favorite recurring characters of the Xenaverse. Ephiny was eventually to become the Queen Regent of this particular tribe of Amazons, but in this first episode, she was simply a warrior and teacher. Throughout most of HOOVES, Ephiny was antagonistic, sarcastic, and generally displeased with the strangers who "invade[d] our territory". She fought verbally and physically with Xena and barely tolerated Gabrielle after Terreis gave the bard her Right of Cast. It is possible that Ephiny expected the Right of Cast to be passed to her, though her reaction may have been more one of surprise that the Amazon Princess would name someone other than an Amazon-born woman.

[07] Though she obviously disapproved of Gabrielle becoming an Amazon, Ephiny took teaching Gabrielle the 'Amazon ways' quite seriously. She made a distinct point about the ability to kill with a fighting staff when Gabrielle commented that learning to use the weapon was "fun when it's working". There was also more emphasis on the fact that the Right of Cast be kept a secret from Xena in the written script (see the Whoosh! HOOVES AND HARLOTS episode guide for details.

[08] Ephiny worked with Xena and Gabrielle to bring the real murderer of Terreis to justice, and fought with the Centaurs rather than against them. This led to the eventual peace between the two nations. In the end, Ephiny gave Gabrielle one of her most prized possessions, her fighting staff, passed down from her own mother with the instruction that "an Amazon Princess doesn't refuse a gift from another Amazon". With that, she made her acceptance of the young bard complete.


Beats the tar out of people who say 'could you repeat that?'

Eponin, the strong, silent type.

[09] One of the Amazons in charge of Gabrielle's instruction was Eponin. Eponin, though seen only in this episode, became another favorite in fan fiction. Her demonstration of the fighting staff was probably what most viewers remember about her, though her presence is felt throughout the episode. She knew Terreis well and was trusted with new Princess' education, along with Ephiny.

[10] Whatever happened to this character, we the viewers do not know. It has been conjectured that she died standing with Queen Melosa when Velasca (see Whoosh! episode guide for THE QUEST) requested the royal challenge.


[11] In HOOVES, one other named Amazon among the crowd assisted in Gabrielle's education. Her name was Magdelus. Oddly enough, she did not have the same impact as the other "one shot character", Eponin, in fan fiction nor did she reappear in any other episode.


Don't laugh at her bird hat

Melosa is one of the most popular 'single appearance' characters in the history of the show.

[12] One character who has been truly missed in the Xenaverse is Queen Melosa. Unfortunately, she was killed off offscreen in the second season, though her impact from HOOVES AND HARLOTS (10/110) is felt whenever Amazons are mentioned.

[13] Melosa was a queen who ruled with regard to tradition and Amazon law, but was open-minded enough to let Xena lead the way towards peace with the Centaurs. She realized Xena, as the new Queen's Champion, would be recognized by Tyldus as the tribe's new leader, and followed accordingly, though her reign as Queen was never actually threatened. By the end of the episode, she was again the Queen, though the audience was not privy to the details.

[14] While grieving the loss of her sister, the Amazon Queen openly accepted Gabrielle's new status. She also regarded Xena as a hero, even when Xena suggested the murderer of her sister was not the Centaur, Phantes, who had been captured and accused. Melosa wanted justice to be served, but was blinded enough by revenge to not seek out any other option. She did give Xena until the end of the Amazon mourning period to find the true killer, however.

[15] It is likely that Melosa did not actually expect Gabrielle to kill Phantes, even when threatened with "to refuse would be treason and your own death". She knew any of her warriors would carry out her orders and it seemed Eponin was prepared for that eventuality. Melosa knew the new Princess was being taught, but did not fully grasp the seriousness of being an Amazon, which was evident when Xena prompted Gabrielle to make the royal challenge: "Gabrielle, do you want to fight me to the death?" "Not really."


And we told two friends, and so on

Not a group to mess with.

[16] Queen Melosa and her Amazons were among the first strong women characters presented on Xena: Warrior Princess outside of Xena and Gabrielle. Their presence made a strong impact on the fandom, particularly with women who may have regarded themselves as Amazons long before the show. Though other Amazon characters and tribes have been presented on the series, it was the women of HOOVES AND HARLOTS (10/110) who led the way with their tradition and strength.


Jules Warrick Jules Warrick
Jules Warrick (aka JettX) is a early-30s lesbian Xenite living in Jayhawk country Kansas where she cheers on the women's basketball team and works for the City in an outdoor job that gives her plenty of time to daydream about all things related to XWP. When not obsessing about Xena, she watches 'The X-Files', 'Mystery Science Theater 3000.' and 'Voyager'. Most of the time she can be found sitting in front of her computer reading fan fiction, cruising web sites or reading mail from the fan lists to which she is subscribed. She also worships Joan Jett, her first leather-clad woman warrior.
Favorite episode: HOOVES AND HARLOTS (10/110) and THE QUEST (37/213)
Favorite line: Xena: "It's the battles you choose and the people you protect." HOOVES AND HARLOTS (10/110) (words to live by)
First episode seen: (in full) CALLISTO (22/122)
Least favorite episode: FOR HIM THE BELL TOLLS (40/216)

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